Texas stole my heart from the 1st time I visited. It will be my 4th visit to Texas later this month and my 2nd return to the “Keep It Weird” city of Austin!
One of the main attractions and adventure sights I am longing to go back to is Barton Springs. It is a fresh water spring that stretches for 3 acres! Located inside of Zilker Park, it is known as one of Austins’ best known outdoor spots for visitors and locals.
There are several sections of Barton Springs, which is great because you can go to whichever meets your style.
Fun fact – Barton Springs is home to an endangered species – The Barton Spring Salamander! Along with other marine life, the springs are kept clean and closed at certain times to allow preservation of the environment for the animals to continue living in a safe environment.
The Barton Springs Pool –
Part of the springs is actually designed as a pool setting, where you can sit on the concrete or take a dip off their diving board in the deeper ends. Snorkeling is my favorite activity and this is THE snorkeling spot! You will see an array of fish and plantlife. It may not be coral reefs, but it’s healthy green homes for the fish. From above the pool you can see the fish and sealife, from inside it’s even better.
Keep an eye on Austin’s weather to see if you want to wear a skinny or wetsuit. The air might be hot but the springs can be a bit on the chillier side. Either way, it’s super fresh so go in!
The Doggie Side –
At one end of the pool, you will see a fence where you can walk around and enter the very shallow part of Barton Springs. This is where dogs are allowed and they run and bathe in the water. Be prepared to get splashed on! Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty as there aren’t any hills to sit on in this part. It’s mostly rock and dirt.
The Kayaking Side –
A little walk down from the pool area, you can rent kayaks and boats for the day via Zilker Park Boat Rentals. You do need to sign a waiver and dogs are welcome! They charge $12 per hour or $40 for the day per boat which is a steal. Look for coupons on Groupon also for sales.
*Be aware that Barton Springs prohibits alcohol, you can bring plastic re-usable bottles that have a lid.
Hours – Barton Springs Pool is open from 5am-10pm Monday- Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. It is closed on Thursdays from 9am-7pm for cleaning. Sunday hours are 5am-6pm.
Admission- FREE from November through a portion of March. Otherwise, a small fee is required to enter – $1-$3 ranging on month and time of day.
Besides these activities, feel free to lounge, tan, or go biking at the Springs. There is so much to do and see, I can’t wait to go back!